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Grateful Dead Live at Events Center, U of Colorado on 1981-12-09

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Grateful Dead Live at Events Center, U of Colorado on 1981-12-09

Topics Live concert

Cold Rain & Snow-> Jack Straw, Friend Of The Devil-> Little Red Rooster, Bird Song, Mama Tried-> Mexicali Blues, Candyman, Cassidy, Looks Like Rain, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain-> Estimated Prophet-> He's Gone-> Drums-> The Other One-> Stella Blue-> Around & Around-> Good Lovin', E:U.S. Blues-> E: Satisfaction

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Events Center, U of Colorado
Location Boulder, CO

Source Soundboard and Audience composite
Lineage Master Soundboard Cassette > Reel to Reel > DAT> CDR Sennheiser 421 Audience patch source
Taped by
Transferred by Scott Clugston


Master Soundboard Cassette > Reel to Reel > DAT> CDR

Sennheiser 421 Audience source supplies "Mama Tried" (d1t06),
the first 1:38 of "Mexicali Blues" (d1t07), as well as from 4:54 of "Space" (d3t01)
thru 4:13 of "The Other One" (d3t02)

Patching / CD Mastering by Scott Clugston
EAC'ed / Shn'ed by Scott Clugston


Reviewer: SiD stranger ink designs - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 9, 2016
Subject: My 1st Grateful Dead show~ LOVE & LIGHT ~*~
The show the bus came by and I got on at, where it all began for me.
Still on the bus and sharing with my 4 sons the incredible sounds...Update 10/25/16 this show is being released on the 1st of November 2016 as Dave's Pick Vol. 20...
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2016
Subject: Last Boulder

This was kind of a "one off" - not planned a long time in advance - at the Coors Event Center (which, as locals know, is named for Adolph Coors' donation, and not because naming rights are currently owned by beer). The place is notorious for bad sound - unless a band sets up on one end against the stalls. Starting the double encore, Bobby says they'll be back because they like Boulder. But as it happened this would be the last of five shows there, the next 15 Colorado shows all being at Red Rocks. This was the middle of three trips to the Denver-metro area in a little over a year (months earlier they played two nights in Denver and months later a 3-day Red Rocks run). Since the '75 hiatus they had built up one of their most loyal markets along the Front Range (of course, playing on a large campus known for hardcore music interest, you will have an audience). The show isn't one of their top 20 Colorado appearances, and may not be the best '81 (or even this month), but it's better than, say 5/6 (Dick's Picks 13) and, as other have noted, there's a strato China>Rider.

1st Set. Yer average '81 first set - except for possibly the worst Jack Straw trainwreck ever and the awesome end pairing. Jer's Friend of the Devil solo is briefly crazy-good and it's a quiet/spacey Bird Song that comes back on a dime. Jer's solo is again unusual on Mexicali and it seems he's having a good night and Bobby an off one. Likewise for Candyman where the solo is inspired and very cool. Cassidy is unremarkable and by Looks Like Rain Bobby gets a Brand New Bag ("R-A-I-N", "Fuckin' Rain!!"). A bumptious delivery bordering on priapic silliness; but Bobby was never good at Rock Star™ posturing, nor did "wearing the Nudie suit" fit the band (short shorts however...). One of the year's best China>Riders starts uptempo but otherwise average, with the pace devolving until the China outro jam when Jer becomes inventive as fuck. During Rider he goes crazy with fills while Phil starts chording. I was compelled to puzzle-out some of these sticky little riffs after hearing this show again. At Colo shows Bobby would deliver "blow all my troubles away" and we'd bate breathing for the vox switch to Jer so we could go collectively nuts for Cool Colorado Rain. The guitar phrasing against the bass and keys is insane here. It's a knock-yer-sox version that rides as if the rails will split any second. Bobby's still weird; like, variety-show-weird.

2nd set. Scarlet is average '81 stylee but Fire hits a strong groove. Estimated has a good tempo but Bobby still finds it prudent to be James Brown (as a crow). Billy and Mickey are strong in He's Gone and ready to go into Drums, but Bobby and Brent wanna jam. S'cool. The band boards the ensemble cosmic transport for parts of The Other One but, it being a Jer show, Stella is where it treks. The end solo is very beautiful and ethereal. Phil is great here too. When Around & Around came up next I cringed. Given Bobby's carnival-esque attitude, I thought he might start hiccuping and barking (for rock and roll, wink) but he sobered up in time to give an average reading. Jer nonetheless is not ready to make this the closer and because they also come back for a double encore (including 1 of 8 Satisfactions in '81), it's an almost-two hour set.

1st Set:  C
2nd Set: C
Overall = 2½ Stars

China Cat>I Know You Rider - An awesome, seat-of-your-pants version
Stella Blue - Jer could wring sheer emotion from just a fretboard & strings

SOURCES: The miller87349 source painstakingly restores the SBD sound, patching the gaps with perfection, from an AUD. The Clugston is fine. (These are Composites, not Matrix recordings). The show is also on Dave's 20.
Reviewer: kee-zee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2013
Subject: Catch a Detroit Lightning out of Santa Fe
Burnt Rich..I'm with you on this one..down grade a show just because it's a matrix..WTF..The sound quality on this is exceptional..Great song selection and in the 1st set.. I really dig the Bird Song and Love,Love,Love the China>Rider to close the set!!!! A charged Scarlet>Fire to open a tight well played 2nd set..The Stella Blue starts out so slow and dreamy and Jerry builds it to a nice climax..A fitting encore Satisfaction to end a very good please GIVE IT A WHIRL
Reviewer: John Bouffard - - July 15, 2010
Subject: Coming back
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 11, 2009
Subject: Parallel universe, or something...
A short concert, Justin? 16 songs before drums (a China>Rider and a Scarlet>Fire, of all combos, back to back)and you call it short? Matrix recordings are automatically downgraded, too? WTF? For example....go listen to the Hunter Seamon's matrix recording from 12/28/79 or 7/1/1985 and come back to us with what you report on those dreaded matrix efforts. You could not ask for a better first set from the guys. The second is no slouch, but boy the juice was really flowing in the first--minus the meandering that occurs during Jack Straw....I think maybe Bobby had too much too fast before show time. Colorado shows always turned Weir loose....
Reviewer: solotzo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 30, 2009
Subject: 81 boulder
Did you hear that cassidy? I mean, did you hear that! Did you hear what I just heard?
Reviewer: JustinMusic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2008
Subject: This is great
This is a rather short concert for the Grateful Dead, but a great one. Worth the download. But because I am so damn picky about recording quality I rate it a 4 star (because of the audience mix). Matrix always gets a four start or below.
Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2008
Subject: Killer Show
This show was awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. The second set was especially killer, but the CC>Rider to close the first was awesome as well. Enjoy this gem!
Reviewer: jjg4762 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2008
Subject: total bliss
Reviewer: wisconsindead1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2006
Subject: good setlist good show
i think the LLR is a lil over rated, its one of my personal favorite dead songs, check out 3-31-84, j straw is disapointing, jerry was feelin it but someone got lost i guess, love the early 80s though and the second set has such a great list and great playing to back it up. although it seems like everyone is just in aww, where i am not, good show definetly but i wouldnt say its "dicks picks" worthy if you wanna go there, i've already said too much listen to it for yourself.
Reviewer: yipyaw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2006
Subject: pleasantly surprised
The Events Center is such a can, I'm amazed the recording is so sweet. We met this old guy before the show who claimed to know Owsley... during China Cat people were bursting into flames, chunks of flesh falling to the floor, dancing flaming shaking bones of glee. We found a friend after the show standing in a field not knowing where or who she was. It took til dawn before she kissed me and said, "I'm back." Good to be alive...
Reviewer: Iko Jim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2006
Subject: WOW, Best of '81!!
After seeing this show being given five star reviews by both Purple Gel and Capn Doubledose in the last few days I had to give it a listen and WOW!!!!

I thought I had heard all the great '81 shows and then discovered this gem. IMO it ranks up there with my three '81 favorites New years , 9-11 and 9-12 Greeks, and any other shows from that, or any year. What a find!!!

I Have to agree with the previous reviewers.... Awesome FOTD, Bird Song, Cassidy, Cold Rain, Candyman.....The greatest LLR, and China Cat -- I Know You Rider Ever, Jerry and Phil just take you to the moon!!

2nd Set is just as awesome, starting with a Stellar Scarlet/Fire the energy just never lets up.... Awesome Estimated - He's Gone, a great Other one--Stella. This awesome SBD is one of my new favorite shows....WOW, this show is the creme de la creme of '81!!!
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2006
This whole show is white hot!!! Especially FOTD, LLR, Bird Song, Cassidy...

The I know you rider is one of the best I have ever heard and I have listened to 500+ shows on this site.... Listen to Phil drop HUGE bombs and Jerry taking some notes to the nnnnth degreee.... Traiiiin... This place must have just been layed out after this. Unreal.

One of the best of '81 easily - Has same wildness of Rochester '80. Just heard it twice!
Reviewer: Purple Gel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2006
Subject: Dead Power Into Boulder
One of the great things about this show for me was that it was the only Dead show I was ever able to walk to from my home, {and more importantly walk home from, no need to worry about driving in a psychedelic haze!!!....:)... }

This is really a great show, and I think the loudest Dead show I ever saw, and from start to end one of the most powerful and raw show I ever witnessed. The first set is excellent (except for the band totally losing its way during Jack Straw in what I think is the worst meltdown I ever witnessed). The Cold Rain is powerful and appropriate for a bitterly cold night outside, The Bird Song is one of my favorites and I agree that The LLR, not usually my favorite song, is one of the best ever, with Jerry playing the sweetest and most appropriate rainfall licks throughout the final minutes. The China Cat > Rider, however is absolutely smoking! There is a great moment during in the second half of the jam between verses in Rider, where Phil whips out some powerful and unique licks, Jerry heard it, smiled, turned to Phil and turned up the energy in his licks, all the while rocking to and fro, as Bobby started his verse, Jerry plays this little lick between "Sun Gonna Shine" and "In My Back Dorr" that just floors me!!. The second set was great as well, A very nice Scarlet > Fire, an inspired Estimated Prophet > He's Gone and sweet Other One> Stella.

Before the Encore, Bobby says that this is a great place and we'll come back here. Alas, They never did. Get this show, it Rocks in Boulder
Reviewer: Driftin N Dreamin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2006
Subject: Classic Dead!!
The Dead at the CU Events Center, it doesn't get much better than this!!

It was a freezing night in Boulder, but inside was very hot and Loud!! the first set has some stellar moments. the Cold Rain is raw, The Bird Song is Epic and the LLR is the best ever and any show that ends the first set with China Cat > Rider (one of my favorite versions of this jam) and starts the second set with Scarlet > Fire is Awesome in my book.

Set 2 doesn't let up either, the Scarlet > Fire is definitely one for the ages and the Prophet through Other One > Stella Blue was classic.

Top it off with a US Blues > Satisfaction and you have a show that every Deadhead should have.
Reviewer: Rev Master Dude Croz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2005
Subject: chemical fire
This show was loud and powerful. A schoolboy at CU in those days, I talked a variety of friends, few having yet witnessed live Dead, into stumbling across campus for the show. We went in as a group and promptly lost each other in the chaos. China Cat was ablaze, and after the show some of us suddenly realized we had again found each other standing in a nearby field. There was no middle ground. Folks were either sold and ready to tour, or it scared the hell out of them and they would never go to a show again.
Reviewer: bonk - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 1, 2005
Subject: WOW!!!!
The LLR is .........AMAZING!!!!!!!!I have to say that this a sleeper show!!!!
Reviewer: DeadtotheHead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 28, 2005
Subject: LLR
Wow, I'm downloading this show for sure...just got done listening to looks like rain and it is way up on my personal favorite list...and let me tell you, I've listened to countless LLR's. Check out 6-21-84, 3-24-88, and 3-30-88 for other great versions.
Reviewer: nogo postal - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2004
Subject: Behind not left out
finding the sound out front a little muddy my wife and i ended up behind the stage...racks of speakers focused in a VERY small space...didn't see much but had my eyes closed most of the time anyway..
Baby to be kickin' during drums...clean rep of this Grate show
Reviewer: MRieman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2004
Subject: Ultimate Rain
LLR followed by China/Ryder has haunted me for years and years. Seriously... Listen to LLR and tell me it's not one of the best ever, and it just gets better from there...
Reviewer: Obadiah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 13, 2004
Subject: Oh, yeah, I remember this...
Just downloading the show, but the thing I remember most about this was something my brother said.

Toward the end of the show, the boys got a bit loud - Good Lovin' was one of the loudest things I ever heard. He said that it was loud like "having a jet plane in your bathtub is loud".

Oh, yeah, that's why the ears ring so much...
Reviewer: harrybac - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2004
Subject: nice sound ... jerry too on vox
I listened start to finish n I usually don't. Real nice show with 2nd set really payin off from the get go

give a listen
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2004
Subject: nice show
The great suprise of the winter of 1981 was a Dead show at the Events Center. A freezing night outside and a HOT night inside. One of my all time favorite scarlet->fires, a real example of some extraordinary interplay between Brent and Jerry during the segue. Bummer that the vbr of scarlet has a splice in it that other tapes I have of this show don't have. Closed the 2nd set with china->rider, and opened the second with scarlet->fire?!?! Are you kidding me? Weir was a bit drunk I think and did some hilarious "HA!"'s during he's gone, much to the chagrin of Jerry who just smiled politely and left the stage. Bob came back for the encore and said "We'll be back because we like it here" - they never played there again.

I did get to see my daughter graduate high school in the same building about 20 years later. Kind of a trip. ;-)

Yes - you should get this show.

Reviewer: Wild Bill Hippy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2004
Subject: 1st show
This was my first show of an eventual 74. I remember thinking that they played Stones songs better than the Stones. This confirms it.
Reviewer: Terry Werner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2004
Subject: DISC two
wow nice setlist! - i wish i could have seen this one. great recording, first few song with minimal static... seems to be gone by Bird Song. thats as far as i am. looking forward to disc two:
Disc 2
1. China Cat Sunflower>
2. I Know You Rider
2nd Set
3. Scarlet Begonias>
4. Fire on the Mountain
5. Estimated Prophet>
6. He's Gone>
7. Drums>
pretty much "THE" big juicy ones.
download now!
Reviewer: kcprice - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 19, 2004
Subject: Great Show with a long first set
Excellent Quality Recording. Smokin Rider (intense Phil)
Reviewer: happytrails - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2004
Subject: Great 2nd set
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